There are many reasons why property on the French Riviera is in high-demand; beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, sun-filled days and a magic that cannot be created anywhere else. Whether you’re looking for a family holiday home, romantic hideaway for couples or your retirement forever-home, we know the best spots for you to buy property in the South of France.
Best For A Family Holiday Home
When looking for the perfect location for all of the family, you need the best of both worlds, something for everyone. Cannes definitely provides this. Crystal clear water and a glorious sunshine 300 days of the year, during the winter months, you can spend time skiing with your family in the Alps. The centre is just 25 minutes from the airport, making it easy to get to and also travel around other areas of the French Riviera, which with younger children is always a bonus!
There are a variety of festivals for all ages and interests on all year round, a luxury lifestyle you will fall in love with and a great mixture between business and pleasure. Yachting is also a common sport, whether you wish to partake or simply spectate with a glass of the finest wine (or juice for the children!) from local vineyards. Some of the family-friendliest restaurants can be found in Cannes, a range of glamorous shops are always open and exciting, unique events are never ending. Many villas have been under lots of renovation, now you will find infinity pools to cool down in, gyms to burn off the delicious local cuisine, extensive gardens for your children to play in, massage rooms for when you need a quiet moment and breath-taking sea views, just because – all of these aspects are very common in Cannes. There really is something for all of the family – what is not to love?
We also think that Juan Les Pins is perfect for families, this small town has a considerably more laid-back atmosphere with both public and private beaches, so you can choose how you want to enjoy your days and whether you want a relaxed, family day or join in with all of the action. Saint-Paul de Vance is another good choice for families, just a short 30 minute drive from Cannes, you will find this beautiful town, local artists, it is less touristy that other towns on the French Riviera, with meandering streets lined with cafes, restaurants and shops. It is the perfect place to experience the French culture, but also close enough to larger towns for when your family crave adventure.
Best For A Rental Property
Picturesque views with plenty to see and do are what you need in the perfect rental property. Cap d’Antibes has many lively bars, coves to explore, top restaurants, art galleries and some of the most impressive super yachts, there is something for a wide range of people. The luxurious villas concealed among rows of pine and olive trees are enough to gain high interest, however Cap d’Antibes also has a port, bays and coastal footpaths with views you won’t find elsewhere and its beautiful beaches are sure to be busy all year round. Along the limestone cliffs and rocky coves you are taken away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and into pure paradise.
Valbonne and Mougins offer a range of shops, restaurants and facilities that are lively all year round which makes them also desirable locations for a rental property.
Grasse is often seen as a new, up-and-coming place to investment and rental property, with a new train link to Cannes, duel carriageway extension are a whole lot of sunshine, the demand is increasing.
Best For Couples
In the very romantic Saint-Paul de Vence, you can find preserved villas surrounded by nature. This medieval town offers true tranquillity and is well known for both modern and contemporary art, with plenty of museums and galleries to make your way around. Only a short distance away from Nice and Antibes, there is plenty to see and do. If you’re looking for the perfect pictures and scenery, then you will not be disappointed – with flowers lining the charming streets, ancient fountains, gateways, porches and windows that make the subject or background for any photograph.
Var in the Provence-Alpes is relaxed and very traditional, you will find picturesque scenes, vineyards, and pastis that are perfect for rekindling your romance.
Grasse is known for its gorgeous smells from its perfumeries, Mediterranean climates, stunning views and less tourists to allow for a more intimate getaway. Yet, only 20 minutes away from golden beaches of Cannes if you want to get more involved with the tourists, festivals and parties.
Best For Business People
Nice is the capital of Alpes-Maritimes and the centre of the French Riviera, between Cannes and Monaco, known as the central hub. There is always a buzzing atmosphere, plenty of job opportunities (especially in the tourism, service and hospitality industry!), Nice has a low unemployment rate too. When not at work you can enjoy the leisure activities it offers, with the desirable warm and dry summers, with sunny winters. The beaches are just 10 minutes away from the city centre and if you’re interested in hiking, the challenging mountains are also only a short distance away. Public transport is also very frequent in Nice, it is easy to travel via trams and buses, also bike rentals are popular to get around quickly! Although not essential, learning French is advised to make it as easy to fit in with the Cote d’Azur culture.
Marseille is another great location to work, as a large busy port city there is always plenty of immigration and trade to get involved in. There are ferries running from one side to the other which makes it easy to transport across the city.
Cannes is also a popular choice, with such a large service and tourism industry there is lots to get your hands stuck into.
Best For History Fanatics
Everywhere along the French Riviera is packed full of history, each city and town with a different and fascinating story to how they got to where they are today.
In Montpellier, you’re in land and therefore away from the holiday makers, however close enough to visit on an evening or weekend. Many city apartments to stay in and with lots of history to discover and explore. Stroll across the Place de la Comedie, visit the Musee Fabre, get lost in the fabulous medieval streets or open doors to beautiful courtyards in glamorous private mansions.
Cannes also has many historic sites – Lerins Islands, La Croisette and Le Suquet all have plenty to learn about. We also recommend Nice, where you will find the Vieille Ville, St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral and the grand Place Garibaldi.
Best For Socialites
There are many places we could recommend for those looking to chase the sun and find out what the Riviera offers after dark, however, our favourite is St Tropez. In St Tropez, you really capture the glitz and the glamour that the French Riviera has to offer; plenty of designer shops, stunning golden sand beaches, endless regattas and a vibrant nightlife, long gone are the days St Tropez was just a small fishing village.
In Cannes you will find the film festival, a buzzing nightlife, top restaurants, exotic bars, endless beaches and designer shops. Also in Monaco, you will find luxury high class apartments that have undergone recent renovations that enhance the modern lifestyle, to make your life as easy as possible.
Best For Fitness Fanatics
Antibes is the home to some of the most impressive gyms on the Cote d’Azur. Aquavelo Antibes offers unique aquabiking course throughout the day, the ever growing CrossFit craze is very popular there too. CREW Pilates offers a range of indoor and outdoor exercises so you don’t miss out on the glorious sunshine. Do you fancy yoga on the sea front, a run through the old town or yachting through the marina? Antibes is the place for you. They even have a Go Babygym for your little ones too! When you’re not working up a sweat you can explore the 16th century ramparts of Fort Carre, take a stroll through the Port Vauban marina to explore some of the most luxurious yachts. This chic resort also has a buzzing nightlife and a very popular Jazz festival so you can let your hair down.
Cannes and Nice also have some of the most luxurious facilities that will test both your physical and mental strengths.
Best For Retirement
The French Riviera has so many idyllic locations, with glorious sunshine and the most desirable scenery. There are many places we think would be great for you retirement, but we have listed our top few.
Hidden natural treasures, villas planted in water – Cassis is a coastal fishing village, quiet and relaxed, without the crowds! There are many cafes, pizzerias, creperies and ice cream parlours that will ensure your belly is never empty. Cassis has a slower paced lifestyle, with picturesque scenery and lots of local cuisine to try, so if you are a fan of sea food, you’re in for a treat. Do not be fooled, there is always lots to keep busy with when you want to, plenty of vineyards to explore, hiking trails to be discovered and a water sports to throw yourself into. Ports full of boats, pastel buildings, golden beaches and large coves that scream adventure, what more would you ask for?
Valbonne is a small village full of townhouses and just 20 minutes from Cannes and 1 hour from Nice Airport, it is easy to get around and travel to other towns along the French Riviera. You’ll never have a dull moment, there is always activities going on near or far, often art, music, theatre and dance festivals and performances, along with cafes and market stalls with local produce.
Villefranche-sur-mer is painted in pastel colours, surrounded by clear waters and plenty of history. A pretty town with spectacular views, cobbled stoned streets and an interesting 18th century church.
Another pretty village is St Jean Cap Ferrat, lined with designer boutiques, a large coastline, local restaurants, and walking trails. There is a lot of privacy here and although quiet, you are only a few miles from Nice and Monaco where more is happening.
If you enjoy your stay so much you don’t want to come home, you don’t have to! Bruce International are a Cote d’Azur property specialist based in Roquefort-les-Pins in the South of France. We offer a range of services, including property viewings, purchase assistance and even project and event management. Whether you’re looking for a holiday home or a forever home, for further information about Bruce International and their wealth of experience in the property sector, please click here.